March 1 2011



2011-03-29 Utah2

I decided to try my hand at building a fly rod this year.  Did a lot of reading on the web and purchased a couple of used books off Amazon.  Plus some advise from a professional rod builder while in AZ.

I got 2 blanks from Roger Penrose off eBay and a third blank from a close out with Utmost .  I started with the blank from Utmost.  It was a 10’6” 7 weight single-handed blank, but I wanted to use it to build a two handed switch rod.  I tried a technique for the grip that used a commercial grip (7 inch) and sliced in some fancy cork to extend it to 10 inches. I added a reel seat that allowed me to put on detachable fighting buts, one is 1.5 inches the other is 5 inches.The extended fore grip moved the flex point forward and after completion, doing a measurement to see what weight the rod worked best at indicated it now was best at 6 weight. So I have a 10’6” 6 weight SH rod, with long fighting butt, it is a 11’ 6 weight switch rod.  Made some mistakes during wrap and it nothing fancy, but it very functional and I love the action.

The second rod I attempted was one for my grand daughter.  It is on a 7’6” 3/4 weight 2 piece pink blank.  I got this from Roger Penrose off eBay.  I used metallic purple thread, with silver metallic accents and put a feather art segment on it.  I used a commercial pre-made grip and black reel seat, with rosewood insert and black guides.  I took my time with all the wraps and it came out very nice.  I found a new Okuma reel at Goodwill and now she not only has a rod, but a nice 3/4 reel to match.  It cast a DT4F line very nicely. I didn’t have any other 4 weight lines to try, but am very happy with the way this rod works.

The last of he rods for this winter is a light trout switch rod.  I used a 4 piece, 3/4 weight, 10’ blank from Roger Penrose.  Evergreen thread with silver accents for the wraps, black reel seat and guides.  I added a 3” extension to the blank, and with a 10 inch fore grip and 3 inch aft grip, it makes a nice rod.  I custom build the grips and left them oversize, in making golf clubs, I learned that larger grips reduce hand fatigue, and it seems to work on this rod also. This rod is a true 3/4, I will probably use Wulff Ambush Taper in 4 weight on it, but haven’t tested that yet.  I cast the DT4F perfectly in SH mode.  I have tried a few custom lines I constructed, but haven’t got it tuned in yet.  Using a WF6F for spey work now, but think the Wulff will do best, once I have it.

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Posted March 1, 2011 by Tom Martin in category "Fly Fishing


  1. By Jon on

    Love to talk to you about this rod, thinking of building one to have a spey rod for mountain lakes where there is no room to back cast.

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